Arctic, bitterly cold air will spill across Texas the Thursday (12/22) before Christmas weekend. This will bring the first killing freeze of the season to San Antonio, and a hard freeze is likely for a few mornings as temperatures plummet into the teens and 20s.
While you’ll need to prepare for this hard freeze, this event won’t be as potent or as long-lasting as the freeze of February 2021. Here’s what you need to know:
COLD FRONT ARRIVES THURSDAY 12/22
- After starting off Thursday morning in the 40s, midday temperatures will aim to climb into the upper 50s & low 60s.
- The highly-advertised Arctic front will then move in, specifically around the 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. timeframe in San Antonio.
- Winds from the north at up to 35-40 mph will instantly blast colder air into South Central Texas, and temperatures will be near freezing as early as sunset.
HARD FREEZE FRIDAY MORNING 12/23
- Temperatures will be near or slightly below 20° in San Antonio and down into the teens in the Hill Country by sunrise Friday.
- Winds will be still be gusty on Friday morning, leading to wind chill values likely in the single-digits in San Antonio.
- Even though it will be cold, it will be sunny Friday. Temperatures around San Antonio should warm above freezing -- into the mid- to upper-30s. In the Hill Country, which will start the day colder than San Antonio, it could stay below freezing for up to 48 hours.
HARD FREEZE SATURDAY MORNING 12/24 - CHRISTMAS EVE
- Another hard freeze is expected Saturday morning. The morning low around San Antonio will likely be in the low 20s, with upper-teens in the Hill Country.
- All of us across San Antonio and the Hill Country will have the opportunity to warm above freezing Saturday afternoon, with plenty of sunshine and highs in the 40s.
CHRISTMAS DAY 12/25
- It will be below freezing Christmas morning with a forecast low in San Antonio in the low 20s.
- More sunshine throughout the day should help afternoon highs climb into the 40s.
ANY WINTRY PRECIPITATION?
- Even though it will be very cold, a “White Christmas” is not in the cards for San Antonio as wintry precipitation is NOT expected. At least that’s good news for holiday travel plans across the state!
HARD FREEZE PREPARATION
- If you’re planning on leaving town, don’t forget to winterize your home before you leave. Even if you’re staying in town, please remember the 4 “Ps” of a hard freeze prep:
- PEOPLE: Make sure those you love have a warm place to stay. If you have to be outdoors, dress in layers.
- PLANTS: Bring in any potted plants if possible. Water Wednesday so that the soil is insulated and cover your outdoor plants if possible.
- PETS: Bring all pets inside.
- PIPES: Cover any exposed pipes & spigots. Allow water to drip from faucets that are facing exterior walls. Drain and turn OFF your sprinkler system. Open cabinet doors, as this keeps air circulating around your plumbing. Try to keep your thermostat in the low-60s if you’re leaving town.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM THE FEBRUARY 2021 WINTER FREEZE?
There are a few different reasons for why this upcoming cold snap will be very different from what South Texans saw in February of 2021.
- The amount of time spent below freezing is less this time around
- Wintry precipitation is NOT expected. In fact, we’ll see plenty of sunshine through the holiday weekend
- The coldest forecast low in San Antonio this week is 18° on Friday morning (12/23), which is still warmer than the coldest temperature observed (9°) in February 2021.
Your Weather Authority will continue to update you throughout this cold spell. We’ll go live right to your phones, and you can see the forecast by downloading the KSAT Weather Authority App for Apple or Android. 📱 Be sure to allow notifications for updates, including livestreams from KSAT meteorologists.